After all the time you’ve spent burning the candle at both ends--studying, reading, and writing your way through college--you have finally received your diploma or perhaps you are starting to see the finish line. Thank goodness, it’s all over or will be over soon, now you can sit back and collect paychecks!
If it were that easy it would be great, but the truth is now the real test begins. To make matters worse, your time in college hasn’t fully prepared you for the test you are about to take, the job interview. Fortunately, you don’t need to take out another loan to learn the skills you’ll need to succeed! In an interview it is not just about answering the questions right like in a test; it is also about presenting yourself properly. Here is a short list of things to keep in mind when job interviewing.
- Dress – There are millions of articles on the subject of what to wear to an interview, and most agree men and women should wear a dark suit. However, there are exceptions!
The best way to know what to wear is appropriate to an interview is to research the company, see what others wear to interviews, and dress comparably. Most importantly, make sure your clothes are clean and ironed. When it comes to dress, remember, if you feel good about how you look you will emanate confidence, so look sharp!
- Posture – It seems obvious, and studies continually show that individuals who stand tall are more likely to be hired, promoted, etc., so why so much slouching?
Stand erect, and hold your head up! This posture will give off a sense of command and confidence (think of how policemen and soldiers stand). Also, don’t fidget, cross your arms, or furrow your brow, this will make you seem nervous, angry, or confused.
- Eye Contact –As important as posture, eye contact is another key form of non-verbal communication. When you make eye contact with someone you seem confident, trust-worthy, and intelligent, so be sure to look everyone in the interview in the eye.
- Greetings and Name Calling – People love their own name, so when you are introduced to someone make a point to call them by name, “Hello, NAME, it is nice to meet you” (maintain eye contact too). This will make you seem likeable, personable, and pleasant. This doubles as a great way to help you remember their name for thank you notes later.
- Handshaking - When you go to shake someone’s hand, don’t crush it, but don’t be a dead fish either. Give a nice, strong, and confident handshake, and when you shake their hand, remember to look them in the eye.
Those are some of the most important dos and don’ts to remember when embarking on the business world’s equivalent of a blind date (keeping with that analogy you should also avoid having food in your teeth, swearing, doing all the talking, or discussing your ex).